Guo Yushan and He Zhengjun, detained former members of the influential Beijing Transition Institute (now shuttered), have been released on bail by Chinese authorities. Some analysts see the move as a symbolic concession to US concerns over Beijing’s human rights record. What might their release mean going forward? Radio Free Asia reports.
China must free Guo Yushan and He Zhengjun and restore confidence in their country.
On July 9, more than 100 lawyers in China issued an open letter on the Internet calling for an end to the shuttering of public interest groups and the detention and prosecution of individuals working for the public good.
This terrific commentary deals with Beijing’s crackdown on NGOs and its larger ramifications if the country’s (remaining) civil society groups do not stand together against tremendous pressure to steer clear of a “political red line” that keeps moving to ensure anything, if the authorities wish, can be deemed off-limits.
Chinese writer and activist, Zeng Jinyan, discusses here in this extraordinarily nuanced piece, first published on Chinese social media, the shifting ground affecting domestic “pragmatic” NGOs and the implications for foreign NGOs with partners in China.
An Open Letter to Procuratorate of Haidian District from senior researchers of the Transition Institute
Former members of the Beijing-based independent think-tank, Transition Institute, in this open letter to the authority charged with deciding whether or not to prosecute TI’s co-founder, Guo Yushan, and He Zhengjun, TI’s former administrative director, challenge the case against them and call for their immediate release. The Transition Institute was shut down last October in a heightened government crackdown on Chinese civil groups.
The Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau’s Recommendation for the Indictment of Guo Yushan and He Zhengjun
In its recommendation to indict Transition Institute founder, Guo Yushan, and administrative director, He Zhengjun, for “illegal business operation,” the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau said that the Transition Institute wrote research papers and articles and offered lectures at universities on such subjects as China’s tax reform, education rights, and legal reform using funds from domestic and international foundations, including Probe International. The police claim to have uncovered the alleged “illegal” activities while they were investigating Guo Yushan, an economist, for the suspected crime of picking quarrels and provoking troubles. “Criminal suspects Guo Yushan and He Zhengjun were captured and brought to justice on October 9, 2014 and November 26, 2014 respectively,” the Public Security Bureau says.
Amid China’s fiercely renewed attack on civil society and free speech advocates, Probe International is one of several international foundations named in a police indictment targeting two leading members of a Beijing-based independent economics and education think tank.
Lawyer Xi Xiangdong: Record of a meeting with He Zhengjun of the Transition Institute, detained on suspicion of “operating an illegal business”
This record of a meeting between He Zhengjun, a member of the Beijing-based independent think-tank Transition Institute, and his lawyer, Xi Xiangdong, earlier this year, details the roadblocks thrown up by prison authorities in disregard of the regulations that should permit a lawyer access to his client within a certain time frame.
The brutal treatment of champions of freedom is a stark reminder that market reforms are not enough to serve as the foundation of a free society. Atlas Network reports.
(October 19, 2011) Independent documentary film plays a particularly critical role in a country lacking freedom of speech. Because the Chinese government is hiding the damage done to China’s environment by two decades of economic growth, citizens are taking up the job using film to expose the trade-offs between the environment and the economy, and the effect this is having on Chinese citizens and society at large.
(June 8, 2011) “We believe that until the day the rule of law is established in China, what happened to Ni Yulan today could happen to each one of us.”